Osteoporosis is a condition wherein the bones lose tissue, leaving them fragile and brittle. It is said that over 28 million Americans are at risk of developing osteoporosis, and majority of them are women. In fact, experts say that about 80% of the 10 million Americans already afflicted by the bone condition are women.
The bones actually consist of living tissues that get broken down and rebuilt over and over again. When the creation of new bone tissues cannot keep up with the destruction of old ones, osteoporosis develops. Although the condition is commonly associated with old age and it’s true that you’re more and more at risk as you grow old, it may strike young people too.
Causes of Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is commonly due to deficiency in calcium or vitamin D. Deficiency in vitamin K, manganese, magnesium, zinc, boron and copper seems to be contributing factors too because these vitamins and minerals appear to play roles in proper bone formation. Osteoporosis may also be brought about by hormonal changes in the body. It’s for this reason why the condition is very common among women after menopause wherein their bodies start to produce less of the hormones estrogen and progesterone.
Dealing with Osteoporosis Naturally
Whether you are already diagnosed with osteoporosis or you are at risk of suffering from the condition, it’s important to have a healthy lifestyle and stick to a strict diet. There are also numerous natural remedies for osteoporosis.
- Exercise regularly. Walking, jogging, step aerobics and dancing are some exercises that can help tremendously. All of them allow your body to work against gravity and carry your weight, something which forces the bone to form new tissues.
- Avoid smoking. There are chemicals in cigarettes that are said to cause women to reach menopausal stage earlier. Health authorities say that smoking may also cause the body to lose more bone tissue than usual.
- Limit alcohol intake. Experts say that having moderate amounts of alcohol (2 servings a day for men and 1 serving a day for women) is actually good for you. However, too much can wreak havoc to the health in a number of ways, and it includes weakening of the bones.
- Reduce caffeine consumption. According to a study, caffeine in a cup of coffee makes calcium in a tablespoon of milk useless. While this finding does not really indicate that you should quit drinking your favorite java in order to prevent osteoporosis, it’s a good idea to limit your intake of coffee to 3 to 4 cups daily. Take note that tea and soda also adds to your overall caffeine intake.
- Get enough sunlight. Staying in the sun for 15 to 20 minutes is said to be enough to keep vitamin D in the body at optimal range. Vitamin D is necessary for calcium to be absorbed by the body.
- Supply your body with vitamin K. This nutrient is necessary for the retention of calcium in the bone for strength and prevention of bone tissue. Foods rich in vitamin K are green vegetables, most especially Brussels sprouts, kale, collard greens, broccoli and spinach. Add healthy fat to your diet because it is necessary for vitamin K absorption.
- Get sufficient amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. According to the experts, adding enough omega-3 fatty acids to your daily diet is important for keeping the bones strong. Some excellent sources of bone-friendly omega-3 fatty acids are flaxseeds, walnuts, soybeans, salmon, sardines, tuna and shrimp.
- Have a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter. Magnesium is important in rebuilding and preserving bone tissues, and this mineral can be found in abundance in peanut butter. Consume 2 tablespoons of peanut butter to get as much as 50 mg of magnesium.
- Eat bananas. It’s no secret that bananas are packed with potassium that is good for the heart. The mineral bananas have plenty of is also vital for strengthening the bones, most especially those found in the spine and hips.
- Add plain yogurt to your everyday diet. Yogurt is rich in calcium which makes your bones strong. Many people who are lactose intolerant may still consume yogurt to benefit from its calcium content because lactose found in it are said to be already broken down.
- Take coconut oil. Women can benefit from the regular consumption of coconut oil because it is known to prevent loss of bone tissue brought about by hormonal changes during menopause.
- Drink orange juice. Studies have shown that vitamin C which orange juice has plenty of is necessary for keeping the bones in tip-top shape. It’s a good idea to opt for orange juice that is also fortified with calcium to really help keep osteoporosis at bay.